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Alert - Issue 22 - Knowledge and Skills 1

   Alert Issue 22. Regulation is absolutely necessary to provide the safe and secure maritime shipping and clean oceans; it is also considered important of the setting of the commonly established and recognized standards for both design and building of the vessels and their systems, plus for the education and further training of the stakeholders plus operational procedures. The seamen also need to be protected through the regulatory documents ensuring the secure and safe environment to work in on board their ships, conditions of life and work, fair employment terms etc. People directly engaged in the working out of the regional and also national/international regulatory instruments relating to the safety of human life as well as property at sea together with the environment protection required to take this human element into account. In IMO Res. A.947(23) the human element was defined as a complex issue affecting all above mentioned issues involving the whole spectrum of the activities performed by the crew members, management ashore, legislators, shipyards and other parties. The associated checklist has been developed and released by IMO to be completed by all bodies of Organization prior to the approval/adoption of the required amendments to the relevant IMO tools. Continued in the Issue 23.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 82 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 23 - Knowledge and Skills 2

   Alert Issue 23 continuing the "Knowledge and Skills" topic which was started within the Issue 22. The companies should demonstrate their commitment to development through not only economic, but also environmental and social performance. The SCR, standing for the "corporate social responsibility", shall be there right in the center point of what the people responsible for the financial sides of the vessel operation are dealing with, and it's concerned with the organization responsible for the impact on the employees, customers, community and surrounding environment, and that's why the CSR principles commonly apply to the shipbrokers, charterers, financiers and insurers. Talking about the human element, this is regardless of whether in chartering or brokering of the ships, fine balance will always be there between costs and investments. The insurers are also playing a major role in the process by highlighting the issues related to the human elements, during the assessment and prioritizing the risks as well as raising the awareness of the threats leading to the insurance claims plus determination of the control measures that should be in place to get the number of claims reduced. This would note mean, however, that everyone shall be expected to be a human element expert...

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 83 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 21 - Information Management

   Alert issue no. 21. Throughout all last twenty issues of the Bulletin, the author have tried to emphasize the significance of the human element to operating the vessels in a safe and effective manner; the proper communication between all players to ensure the fitness of the ship for the intended activity is also very important. We have also touched such the critical aspects of ship operation as the requirements applicable to the secure and safe working environment, fair employment terms, decent conditions of living and work, etc. The discussion of the topics listed above was intended to serve the ultimate goal, namely to ensure the safe conduct of the vessel and safe/timely delivery of the transported goods. We would like to underline the importance of the timely, accurate and relevant information and feedback to the successful design and subsequent operation of any vessel. Another important issue is the information management involving the storage and processing, as well as transmission and input/output of the information. Nowadays, major part of it is undertaking using the so-called IT, i.e. information technologies - the application of computers, software and communication for the information management, dissemination and processing. This booklet shall be supplemented with the associated video film.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 109 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 20 - Training

   One more issue of Alert... This one is mainly dedicated to the education, training and development, as well as to the recognized occupational standards. In the past, most of the people going to the sea, did so because of their wish to become a captain of chief engineer of a vessel, while others just wanted to work at sea. Only few of those people had the aspirations towards building a career ashore. Nowadays, there is a constantly increasing number of sophisticated and technically advanced vessels and systems which, when combined with the global labor force made up by so many nationalities, can definitely present serious challenges in the education of the seamen, their training and development of their careers. The STCW Code says that all seamen shall be duly qualified for the positions they work at on board, and the ISM Code obliges the Company to define the authority, responsibility and also the competence level required to be possessed by each of the crew members. In turn, all of the instructors and supervisors, and also assessors shall be "appropriately qualified". However, these minimum sets are definitely not sufficient to cope with all systems on board many of the vessels today. That is why the ship owners and managers shall adopt the best shipping industry standards related to the recruitment and training of their employees... Best if supplemented with this short video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 233 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 19 - Recruitment

   One more issue of the Alert. Nowadays, the image of the shipping industry in the eyes of the general society is not that good, rarely hearing any positive news. People are, instead, usually informed of the vessels in difficulties in stormy conditions, groundings and pollution of the surrounding environment. They are commonly told about the maritime piracy taking place in some parts of the world ocean, ship masters jailed for misdemeanor etc. People who are familiar with the maritime internet resources read the articles berating the current state of the shipping industry, and the life at sea, in particular. For sure, there will be numerous comments concerning the over-regulation, excessive paperwork and constantly increasing number of checks, reduced manning of ships, fatigue problems, owners not caring about the seafarers and not investing any part of their profits in the human element. It is not said everywhere that the maritime industry is a high-tech one, and that is because, regardless of the level of automation introduced into a vessel, there is always a need for human to keep that vessel operating. These is also a demand for pilots and ship managers, marine surveyors, regulators and investigators of the accidents, experts and all other specialists, all of whom should better e coming from seafaring backgrounds. Use this short video as a supplement.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 129 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 18 - Health and Wellbeing

   Another release of the Human Element bulletin, and this one is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of people who are working at sea. Since so many of the systems on board ships are dependant on human involvement to some extent, we need to consider this link as a potential frailty that requires to be under periodic monitoring and management. It is very important to keep the mariners healthy and happy since this will definitely result in the safe and commercially efficient of the vessel. In the fourth article of the MLC Convention it is emphasized that every seafarer is entitled to the right of working in a safe and secure working place complying with the applicable recognized safety standards, as well as to fair employment terms, decent conditions of living and working on board, protection of their health, and other forms of protection. It means that the owners and managers of the ships are obliged to provide their employees with secure and safe working place, and comply with the requirements of all relevant regulatory documents. This can be done through encouraging of the safety culture and security awareness, provision of adequate benefits to the employees, establish and maintain the working policy of openness and good communication, and everything else that is required. The present issue of Alert is supplemented with this short training video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 110 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 17 - Accidents

   One more release of Human Alert Bulletin. This one is dedicated to the accidents. Today, slips and trips, together with the falls account for the major portion of the occupational accidents occurring on board vessels, and there is so much evidence of that. And we would not say that it is very surprising, taking into consideration the environment in which people work aboard ships. The risks may be coming from literally everywhere including but not limited to the slippery surfaces, e.g. decks, rolling and pitching movements of the ship, various moving objects like hatch covers and cranes, confined spaces, hot works, oils and greases, chemicals, noxious and dangerous substances, and so many others. The owners and managers of the ships are obliged to ensure that the above stated hazards are reduced to the reasonably practical level. However, many seamen would be ready to tell you about the design weaknesses of the vessels that led to falls and slips. Moreover, numerous accident reports are telling about people who have fallen from height, i.e. platforms, ladders and masts. It is therefore very important to pay attention to the design features and also to keep them under review throughout the whole working cycle of the vessel. Supplemented with this video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 162 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 16 - Rogue Behaviour

   Here is the another issue of the popular Human Element bulletin. The key topic is the rogue behavior. Unfortunately, there is no any single and, at the same time, effective solution to the problem of rogue behavior. However, the actions that could be undertaken in order to avoid the negative effects, may include providing the safe and secure working environment, that should also be usable, as well as proper living and working conditions plus the terms of employment. Another way to do that could be the encouragement of a healthy lifestyle and establishing the reasonable balance between the people and the job that is required for the ship to be operated in a safe and effective way. Then, one of the additional options would be ensuring the required consistence in the education and recognized standards relating to the vocational training by means of the specific training, noting the job, operational role as well as the operating pattern of the vessel, together with the environment in which the ship would most likely operate, conducting the continued professional training on board the ship, including the analysis of the lessons that have been learnt from the AIRs, i.e. accident investigation reports, and providing of the most clear yet concise instructions as well as technical and operation manuals... Better if supplemented with this short video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 174 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 15 - Automation

   Here is the fifteenth issue of he Human Element Bulletin addressing the important matters related to the automation. The topics that have been dealt with by the authors of this release include trust and dependability of ship automation, increasing the manageability of the automated alarms, perspectives of the chief engineer, automation, electronics officers and STCW Convention, staying cool in the liquid natural gas business, mitigating human errors in the use of automated systems that are installed on board marine vessels, meeting various operator's needs, breakdown of the machinery and fire that can subsequently occur onboard a container ship, and others. The systems that are installed on board ships are protected with the very rigorous standards for design, and redundancy, as well as with the feedbacks activating the alarms. Both reliability and efficiency of subject shipboard systems can be significantly decreased if they have not been properly set up and if they are not duly maintained including regular monitoring - and all these tasks are to be performed by the seafarer, i.e. the human element of the system. The technological revolution that occurred in the past decades totally changed the way of interaction between people and systems. In the today's shipping industry, such human element became an endangered species, and that is mostly because of the increasing number of automation arrangements... This booklet shall be supplemented with this short video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 241 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 14 - Communication

   Another release of the Human Element bulletin. This one has been dedicated mainly to the effective communication matters, treating this as the key to successful operations. We all know that the ability of the human to convey the information properly, by means of verbal communication or in writing is critically important since it not only directly relates to the safety of the crew, passengers of the vessels and visitors, but also affects the wellbeing of the people on board. It may seem that the English skills of some seamen is too bad that they experience problems when trying to communicate between themselves and with the agents. The IMO SMCP was specifically prepared with the intention to get round this problem and trying to avoid such misunderstandings caused by the language barrier... obviously, this might cause major accidents and shall be avoided. Well, one of the keys to the improvement of the verbal communication is recruiting the seafarers having the basic understanding of the language in use on board, and also continuing education - learning and control of the training process through regular testing. Apart from this issue, the quality of shipboard documentation has also been addressed in this release of the bulletin, together with culture and communication, alarm system management, paperwork, visual signals etc. Supplemented with this video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 323 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 13 - Fatigue

   The present issue of the Bulletin is intended to introduce the second phase of our project having the purpose of improving the awareness of such important factor of the maritime industry, as the Human Element. This project is planned to be running for another 3 years being sponsored by Lloyd's Register. Through all the first twelve issues of the Alert bulletin, the author tried to focus on the various areas involving one or more elements of the vessel's lifecycle - this was some kind of reminder that the considerations relating to the Human Element shall not be treated as one starting at the design stage and finishing at the time when the ship is delivered; they shall rather be applied throughout the working cycle of the vessel, with the particular attention being paid at the time when its role or the manning philosophy is updated; this may also be the time of retro-fitting new ship systems or equipment. In the next nine issues of the bulletin the authors will mainly focus on the proper application of the knowledge that has been accumulated, in order to cover the specific HE issues of effective communication, slips/trips/falls, fatigue, safety, wellbeing, information management, alarm and automation management, education and training, complacency matters etc. We are trying to represents the professional views on all sectors of the marine industry... This training video supplements the booklet.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 686 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 12 - Fit for Purpose

   In many parts of the world recognition of competence is a necessary professional requirement for employment, career development and, unfortunately, liability insurance. As interest in the Human Element grows, not least in response to the awareness raised by Alert!, there will be a need for recognition of competence in the skills related to the science and practice related to addressing Human Element issues in the marine context. Traditional professional bodies, such as the Ergonomics Society and Psychological Societies, emphasise academic qualifications as necessary entry requirements. For such bodies, technical experience that contributes to recognition is centred on the application of particular technical skills, rather than experience in a particular sector of industry. Sector experience, in this case experience in the marine sector, is not taken into account. In any new area of application of the sciences and techniques related to the Human Element the individuals with the responsibility and interest to address these issues will come from a range of backgrounds including, in the case of the marine industry, ship's officers, engineers, surveyors, designers, office staff, academics, etc. A coherent professional body of knowledge may or may not emerge, depending on the depth of the requirement and the novelty of the treatment of the Human Element in the sector. What is required in terms of professional recognition is a scheme that recognises a range of academic backgrounds and gives due regard to experience and achievement.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 823 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 11 - Integration

   The process of integration of the Human Element into a complex system a like putting together a puzzle. Some of the components involved are readily identifiable and easy to be linked together. There are, however, others that are not so obvious, and it takes a certain amount of'trial and error'to fit them into the right slots until, eventually, the whole picture is complete. A ship comprises of a number of component parts (systems) each of which will have some effect on the overall performance of that ship. The extent to which a system will have such effect will depend on how critical it is to the safety of the ship and to its crew. Some systems may be fully automated, but they will still require a degree of intervention from the seafarer, whether it is to set the initial tolerances or to respond to alarms. Some may require direct seafarer input for their operation and for their maintenance. Others will require humans to interact with other humans, and some may be driven by 'outside influences' such as the environment, other humans, or technology. Furthermore, the shipboard environment requires seafarers from a variety of cultural backgrounds to work, socialise and live harmoniously with one another. Use this short video as the supplement.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 649 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 10 - Regulation

   In this tenth issue of the Maritime HE following interesting and relevant topics have been highlighted - Culture of compliance - The seafarers as stakeholders - Safe manning - Maritime safety regulations save people's lives - The human face of regulations - Intent versus implementation - An administration's view - Good working practices always give good results - What is new... Well, we all definitely require certain regulations to be there in order to be able to ensure secure and safe shipping, to set the common standards for the design of ships and their systems, as well as for operational procedure and training. It is in human nature to break the rules at times. And this can be even unintentional or because the person is simply not aware of the rule. However, sometimes it can be done intentionally, for instance, it can be a result of the huge commercial or operational pressure. In all cases, it is important to understand and always bear in mind that we take a certain risk when we are breaking the rules - this, in turn, may and will lead to the hazardous incident, especially if done repeatedly. According to the statistic data, the majority of the accidents are resulting from the human errors and failings... This training video may be used for better understanding.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 488 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 9 - Operations

   The ninth issue of the International Maritime HE Bulletin sponsored by LR and published by the Nautical Institute. This issue is dedicated to the actual ship operations at sea and to the human element involved. Among the topics discussed there are stress experienced at sea, crew claims and P&I Club's perspectives, vital importance of the communication skills to safe operations, good working practices. It is clear and obvious that no ship in the world can run without a crew on board that ship, that is the reason why it is very important to consider people who are going to be operating the ship that you are designing and building. There are so many different and complex systems installed on any vessel for various purposes - for sure, all of them are complying with the very strict standards and installed as per allowable tolerances. However, their reliability and efficiency may be undermined in case their set-up is incorrect or if they are not monitored and maintained properly, the way they should be, and these tasks are undertaken by the human element of any system, so we are talking about seafarers... As usual, there are also some news and incident reports, and a short supplementary video film.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 463 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 8 - Building

   Another issue of the Human Element bulletin. Inside this one the reader will find info on the safety in the ship newbuilding and ship repair industry, in particular, addressing the human factor during the new construction process, and various human factors relating to the engineering deficiencies. The actual need for a more robust vessels has also been addressed; in addition to the above, the authors included some info about building platform management systems based on the UCD - user centered design - concept. Once they reach their new vessel, their expectations are of a ship that is 'fit for purpose' - that is, designed and constructed having the user and the operational task in mind anf, of course, noting environmental conditions that it will encounter during its working life. Few, if any, of the crew members are involved in the process of design and build, yet these are the people who are going to work and live within the ship. It is the crew - and not just the senior officers - who will first spot those irritating design errors, some of which may not be readily identified until sea trials; but which could so easily be rectified before commissioning, such as: critical lines of sight obscured by machinery or equipment pieces, various furniture; poor leads for ropes and wires; tripping hazards around the decks; doors that open onto narrow working alleyways; handrails installed too close to the bulkhead; poor access and removal routes for the machinery and equipment, etc... This short training video may be used as the useful supplementary material.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 418 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 7 - Design and Usability

   The issue no. 7 of the Human Element bulletin. In this release, as it is implied by its title, the authors have included the most important and relevant articles to address the usability principle as applied to the maritime industry, the role of the ISO, designing of the usable vessels, a human-centered design (i.e. HCD) approach to ship and design approach, definition and principles of the "good design" of ships and their systems, valuable feedbacks from the users modulating the designs etc. The booklet includes some information on the designing the world famous Queen Mary 2. Every vessel in the world consists of a number of systems and each of these systems has its own purpose; the systems can either form a component part of another (larger) system or operate alone. Since the reliance upon complex systems in merchant vessel operations is increasing, certain constraints and demands are placed on the human element, which is an extremely critical feature of all aspects of the design or operation of any ship or her systems. In addition to all stated above, as usual, there are some investigation reports and studies included in this release of the bulletin. Better if supplemented with this video file.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 459 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 6 - Education and Training

   And here we are by the next, sixth issue of our Human Element Bulletin. Reader who have a glance into this release of our periodic paper, will get to know how to deal with the fatigue properly, how to train a multinational workforce and even train the trainer, gain and understand the "Perils of the Sea", develop and maintain the human components of ship systems. The authors have tried to evaluate the importance of the role which the training vessel plays in the process of training the seafarers of the future; another title is "Invest in yourself". The process of education is gradual - we acquire knowledge by means of learning and instruction, just the same way we develop the personal attributes through observation and upbringing. It is a lifelong process; we never stop learning, whether through formal education or through the 'University of Life' (observation and experience). Talking about training - the correctly applied one is the planned systematic process of developing the knowledge or skills through instruction or practice. Shortly, this release deals mostly with the training issues. As usual, the booklet is supplemented with this short training video film for reference and better understanding.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 477 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 5 - Quality

   Issue 5 of the Human Element bulletin contains the updates on such important matters as building the shipping company culture, a total quality lifecycle, investing in quality as investing in people, consolidating international standards ot the maritime labor, corporate social responsibility in the today's maritime industry, PSC reports, sustainability reporting in the shipping sector, etc. We often define the term "quality" in the context of the customer-supplier relationship as a measurement of how a products or offered services meet or exceed customer's expectations. But, the quality of management in ship operations impacts on the way in which the master and his crew conduct their business. Not all ship operators aspire to the highest levels of quality. Port State Control reports record that some shipowners are failing to comply with international conventions, such that the condition of the ship or the quality of its crew falls below the required standard. There are some companies whose focus is on profit - at the expense of quality and of a safety culture. Their compliance with regulations aspires only to the acceptable, particularly in respect of crew working and living conditions, safety of life at sea and accident prevention. Better if used together with this short video film addressing same topics.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 474 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 4 - Mind, Body and Spirit

   Here is another, fourth issue of the newly founded Alert bulletin addresses following important aspects of the today's shipping industry - Crew endurance management; The seven needs of the mariners - competence, attitude, motivation, happy and wealthy lifestyle, safe and secure working environment, self actualisation and, of course, moral values; another topic is named "Maritime Education & Training providers take the initiative"; Endurance risk factors, Seafarers with Spirit, People; Communication; Seafarers' wellbeing; A research agenda; Principles of safe manning. People are the most important asset and ships working at sea always need good, duly qualified and properly motivated personnel in order to operate well. Nowadays, efforts are made to introduce the use of the latest technologies into so many aspects of ship design and operation with the aim to reduce manning costs and levels, which would improve operations. This has been one of the core topics contained in the present issue of our bulletin. Have a look and, who knows, maybe you will find something that can be used during your everyday work and improve the safety. This interesting booklet is to be supplemented with this short video.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 510 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 3 - Ergonomics

   Our project is continuously developing and we are now ready to introduce the third issue of the popular International Maritime HE Bulletin. Among the most important topics addressed in this one there are human errors, shipboard maintenance, the case for a decent design, designing to fit the user, an ergonomic nightmare, improving ship operational design, ergonomics, training and competence, the human element in pilotage, prevention through people - an overview, some relevant accident investigation reports and case studies also included. As it is now obvious than most of the accidents happening in the shipping industry result from the human error and relatively few of them are rooted to the technical failure of the equipment, it is becoming more and more important to pay the extreme attention to the human factor as the main cause of the incidents. Such errors may be done at the design stage or during the new construction, as well as during the operation and/or maintenance of any of the vessel's systems or equipment. Again, we are trying to find the ways to get the number of incidents caused by human error reduced, this is the most important yet most difficult aim... Supplemented with this short video film.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 491 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 2 - Human Factors

   We are continuing the Human Element series with this second issue of the Alert! project, which is developed by the Nautical Institute and sponsored by the Lloyd's Register, with the declared aim of it being the improvement of the awareness of the human element in the maritime industry as well as any other adjacent industry. In this release the team of authors intends to address such important matters, as the class societies' view on the issues related to the human element; Some thoughts from the sharp end - an article by the chief engineer working on the OSV and sharing his experience; Improving the application of the COLREGs (IMO Collision Prevention Regulations); Exploring Human Factors - Person - Job - Organization & Management; ISM Code and Port State Control matters; I am Afloat; Accident Investigation Reports; Various investigation reports and case studies. Some thoughts have been shared by the expert on the container vessels, cargoes and the human element involved. Particular attention has been paid by the authors to the impact of the International Safety Management Code on marine practices and its general relevance. We have supplemented the publication with this short yet interesting and informative video film for better illustration of the articles.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 538 | | Comments (0)

Alert - Issue 1 - The Human Element

   We, the authors' team for the newly established Human Element bulletin, are very happy to welcome everyone involved in the shipping industry (and any related industry as well), meaning both professionals of today and the students, to the 1st release of Alert! human element bulletin and the we are now about to start the completely new campaign with the ultimate intention to raise the attention of the commercial maritime industry professionals to the awareness of Human Element issues. This project is planned to take approximately three-years - it is run by The Nautical Institute and fully supported by the LRS (Lloyd's Register of Shipping) Class Society, one of the leading class societies in the world. The materials that are included in our bulletins, are all prepared by the recognized experts sharing their professional opinion on the various issues, and will of course be of great use for the readers. In this pilot issue of the HE we are going to shed some light on the classification society's and naval architect's professional views of the basic Human Element matters, look at some marine engineering perspectives, go through several interesting accident investigation reports, etc. The publication  is supplemented with this short video film.

Category: ALERT SERIES | Views: 595 | | Comments (0)

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